By Melissa Henderson, Crosswalk.com
Serving others can bring people together in unique ways. Opportunities are available every moment—from donating clothing, food, financial resources, and other items, to serving on prayer teams or lending a helping hand in the grocery store parking lot. What does the Bible say about serving others?
Does the Bible Encourage Serving Others?
A servant can be defined as someone who sets aside his rights so others may be served.
How are you encouraged to serve others? Is there a sign-up list of ways to help at your church and community? Why do we serve others? The Bible gives instructions on sharing Christ’s love while serving others.
The Bible is the Word of God, and yes, the Bible encourages serving others. God calls us to help lead others to a relationship with Him. Our words and actions can be vessels in serving.
In worshiping and honoring God, we must live for God.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)
With each unique gift God gives us, we are called to share His message. Be humble. Don’t treat people as if they are “less than.” Don’t judge. Seek to please God, not self.
There may be hardships at times when we live for God. Yet, as believers, we know the ultimate gift awaits us in Heaven.
Who Are Some People the Bible Praises for Serving Others?
The best example of servanthood is found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Luke 4). He came not to be served but to serve others.
Jesus healed the sick, fed crowds of people, brought the dead back to life, washed the disciple’s feet, and performed many more acts of servitude.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage: rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5-7 NIV)
In the Old Testament book of Genesis, we read about Rebekah’s servant spirit as she filled water jars and ran back to the well to draw more water for the man who had come to find a wife for Abraham’s son Issac.
In 1 King 17, we read about how Elijah went to Zarephath and asked a widow to bring him water and a piece of bread. The woman explains that she has a small amount of flour and olive oil. She tells Elijah she’s preparing a meal for herself and her son so they may eat it and die.
Elijah tells the woman not to be afraid. He instructs her to make a small loaf of bread for him and then make some for herself and her son. Elijah explains that the jar of flour would not be used up, and the jug of oil would not run dry until the Lord sent rain. This widow served Elijah bread even though she had next to nothing to give. And Elijah’s words came true.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, risked her reputation and possibly her life by obeying God. She was visited by an angel, who brought the news that she would become pregnant and give birth to God’s Son. Her response was humbling.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled. Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:38 NIV)
In these examples, serving requires three vital steps: being alert to God’s message, listening, and obeying.
Does the Bible Say Serving Others is a Spiritual Gift?
Serving can also refer to helping and ministering. There are various ways to serve and share the love of Christ, implementing the spiritual gifts given by God.
The book of Romans shares how we are to use each gift God gives (Romans 12:7-8). We are told to serve well and generously, to be encouraging and kind, to serve with gladness, to love others truly, and to work for the Lord enthusiastically.
Romans states that we have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
Does the Bible Promise Earthly Blessings Will Result from Serving Others?
How seriously do we accept God’s blessings? Do we feel unworthy of receiving His blessings? Or perhaps some people who feel entitled because of situations in life? God has told us in His Word that life on this earth will be filled with troubles. Yet, we can find peace resting in His promises for eternal life for believers.
Jesus told the disciples that they would not see him for a while, and then he would return. The disciples questioned Jesus because they didn’t understand the true meaning of what He was saying to them. As He continued to share with His disciples and asked if they believed, Jesus shared that He had told them what would happen because He wanted them to have peace. Jesus reminded the disciples that they would have trouble in this world, but to take heart because He had overcome the world.
Although we don’t want to suffer, suffering can bring stronger faith and dedication to God. Does God want us to suffer? No. God wants us to be close to Him and worship Him. God doesn’t want His children to focus on themselves and rely on earthly pleasures. God loves His creations and will reward us in Heaven. These rewards will be given at the judgment seat of Christ.
Should we serve others just so that we can be rewarded? No. Serving others is an act of worshiping God and sharing His love. We want to serve so others may know God.
We should not serve because we expect earthly blessings. Serve because God loves us.
10 Ways to Serve Others
Be alert for nudges from God on how to serve others in various ways.
- Pray for family, friends, and strangers.
- Volunteer to donate distribute food or clothing at a shelter (do not forget animal shelters need help too).
- Open the door for the person behind you at church, the grocery store, or other places.
- Offer to help with children’s time at church.
- Visit shut-ins and the elderly of the church and your neighborhood.
- Look into the eyes of someone speaking and truly listen.
- Volunteer at a library.
- Help pick up trash on the beach or at a park.
- Offer to read the Bible with someone who might need assistance.
- Share a smile with everyone.
Can you add to the list of ways to serve? Be thankful for the opportunity to help others draw closer to God. Serving others can bless everyone.
A Prayer for Guidance in Serving Others
Father, thank You for the many ways we can serve others. Please guide us to show Your love and glory in each moment. Amen.
In His Name,
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/photographer
Award-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers.
Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at http://www.melissaghenderson.
LISTEN: Being Complete in Jesus (Understanding Matthew 5:21-48)
Hearing Jesus is a devotional journey through the gospels, where we explore the teachings of Jesus chapter by chapter. If you're seeking to live a life that reflects God's, this podcast is for you.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
WATCH: 10 Sins Christians Downplay (and Why They're So Destructive)
Stock Footage & Music Courtesy of Soundstripe.com Thumbnail by Getty Images